Investment in landscaping is a smart move. But many property owners go to effort and expense, then find themselves wishing they had started with a plan. Two common ways to do a plan – DIY (do-it-yourself) or hire a professional to do a plan for you.
Like any other home improvement project – hiring a team of professionals often makes the most sense. Just like with professional designers who would design a kitchen or a bathroom for you – a professional landscape design team will not only understand the creative parts of design – but also be intimate with plants, hardscape, property values, and issues with your specific site. Professionals also know how to best combine your ideas and expectations with your budget.
We will touch on more details about using a professional design team in a future post – but for today let’s talk about the idea of DIY – do-it-yourself.
Why would you do a landscape plan on your own? We can think of a lot of good reasons.
Whatever your reason to do your own design – here are a few ideas that might help your process. While books and the internet are full of ideas on garden design – we like to:
Our example is a plan drawn up by a friend of ours. This is a busy household with two working professionals with young children. Their backyard objective was to have a safe place for the kids to play – but with enough gardens to keep the parents happy. They use their back deck to eat many a summer meal so wanted plants that would not attract bugs, wanted to add lights to enjoy their evenings and needed low maintenance since both parents are so busy. They had a step grade change as the backyard sloped to a local park.
After talking with neighbours, family and co-workers, several trips to the garden centre allowed the homeowner to talk out ideas that ranged from a mulched play area for the kids to low wattage outdoor lighting to a stone retaining wall to allow for more garden. Plants suggested included Pines, Magnolia, Hosta, Heuchera, and for the bugs - adding citronella geraniums each spring. Laying conduit as they installed the landscape allowed them to easily add the outdoor lighting. Adding a storage shed helps keep all the gardening equipment in one spot and keeps all nice and neat.
A thoughtful plan and proper preparation made the job easier and is yielding a very comfortable outdoor living space.